Cisco Live! 2016: A Sales Engineer’s Perspective
This past July was the time of year I make my grand pilgrimage to Networkers (Cisco Live for those who are not familiar with that term). So, off across the country to a warm 106 degrees in the Las Vegas shade for a week of studying, testing, and perhaps a drink or two.
Cisco Live began for me on Sunday with an in-depth full-day immersive training on Cisco’s advances in Unified Communications. Let me just say, I am glad the classes are recorded and posted online because I cannot write as fast as this technology seems to change.
One of the many highlights of the week was the opportunity to meet with customers and colleagues to catch up over dinner and discuss the day’s events. Reminder to all, try not to schedule the free certification exam early that following morning!
The next three days were filled with back, to back, to back training courses interwoven with keynote speeches from Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and guest speaker Kevin Spacey – who was just fantastic.
I also had the opportunity to attend a number of NDA (non-disclosure agreement) courses concerning the future of collaboration tools and Cisco Unified Communications. These training classes are not recorded and only offered in person, so I am very glad I attended.
The customer appreciation event was held in the brand new arena where Las Vegas’ new ice hockey team will eventually play. Yes, Las Vegas now has a hockey team! This event included a performance by some band called Maroon 5, who played instruments and yelled into microphones while an immersive light show was provided. Most of the attendees seemed very impressed with the musical selection, while I was more impressed with the delicious food and quenching beverages.
I must admit, there was only one issue I had with the whole event (if you even consider this an issue). No Buffet! The food inside the boxed lunches was good; it’s just that I had been looking forward to the buffet, which in past years was so impressive I had taken pictures just to make others jealous. Also, while the aisles of the Mandalay Bay Conference Center were, at times, lined as far as the eye could see with snacks and sugary beverages – Coke, Pepsi, even that evil diet stuff was present – not a single can of Mountain Dew could be found. I still shudder at my painful withdrawal symptoms. But I digress.
Cisco Live is the force that re-invigorates me as an SE for the entire year. That is how important I find this event. It will take me weeks, maybe even months, to digest everything from Cisco Live and that’s the whole reason I go each and every year. Twenty-eight thousand SE’s in one place for an entire week of educational training, networking, and fun is just want I need.
My hat goes off to the people who plan and pull off an event of such size and magnitude! I can’t wait to see what they try next year.